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When Did You Become Competent?

 
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:28 PM   #21
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


It takes about 10 or 12 years to figure out your not near as cool as you thought you were.

These trades are testosterone and ego driven. That's not a bad thing, it's how we men are. It's a fact of life. We are competitive by nature.
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:38 PM   #22
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


I was competent after about twenty years. I've been in my prime for the last ten.

I say prime because I'm old enough for people to respect the experience level I have. And I'm still young enough at heart to show enthusiasm toward the project at hand.

Competence at a trade is one thing. Journeyman level is another way of saying the same thing. But when you step past that and run your own business, competence is measured in many other ways. It can only be measured by your string of happy customers, employee turn over, profitability, your own level of happiness, your ability to keep your home fires burning. Not necessarily in that order. But when you pull all of that together, I say you are competent.

Once your name is on the truck, you can be a very competent tradesman but if you have nothing to do, you're broke and your family is in disarray, you need to learn some more lessons before you arrive to competent.
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:57 PM   #23
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


I fake it every day.
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:05 PM   #24
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


If I ever get there, I'll let you know how long it took.






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Old 08-21-2015, 07:36 AM   #25
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


Quote:
Originally Posted by WarnerConstInc. View Post
I fake it every day.

I believe you.
I'm one of the few that do.

All kidding aside, there is something to the saying " Fake it till you make it".
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:56 AM   #26
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus Dering View Post
I believe you.
I'm one of the few that do.

All kidding aside, there is something to the saying " Fake it till you make it".

I am getting really good at faking it now.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:16 AM   #27
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


Quote:
Originally Posted by muskoka guy View Post
After five years you think you know it all. After ten years you realize how little you knew at five years . After twenty years you realize you will never know it all. There is just too many trades and skills to learn in one lifetime. If you were to stick strickly to one trade, you should be competent after five years. Hopefully after ten you should pretty much have it mastered. Every person is different. Some will never master anything due to lack of ambition or intelligence . Most people as stated don't stick strictly too one trade. I started out framing 32 years ago. I consider myself competent at many trades as trying to stay employed in hard times forces you to expand your knowledge. Every skill you get is money in the bank down the road.
Perfect. When I passed 20 yrs I also told myself the same thing
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:24 AM   #28
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus Dering View Post
I believe you.
I'm one of the few that do.

All kidding aside, there is something to the saying " Fake it till you make it".
Agreed. The first few jobs I took on my own I'm pretty sure the customer knew I was full of ****, I knew I was full of ****, but we were both willing to let it slide because I was a nice guy and knew I'd fix whatever I messed up.
I never really messed anything up beyond repair, and the price was nice enough that they'd call me back.

I'm liking the five years number. It took me 4 with somebody else, then 1 on my own before I started to get the hang of a few things. I can walk into a room that needs crown moulding installed and say with confidence how much time it's going to take and how much material I'm going to need, and give a HO a price right then and there. I did it the other day. If felt nice.

To the OP, best I can say is that you can kind of feel it when you're on top of the situation instead of the situation being on top of you.
Like everybody else said, there's no way you get this feeling with every discipline. Too much to learn in a thousand lifetimes.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:34 AM   #29
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


Thanks for all of your advice guys. I really appreciate it
I didn't think I would get so many responses.
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Old 08-21-2015, 09:00 AM   #30
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


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Originally Posted by Mansfield97 View Post
Thanks for all of your advice guys. I really appreciate it
I didn't think I would get so many responses.
That's what happens when you ask a good question.
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:57 AM   #31
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


Quote:
Originally Posted by WarnerConstInc. View Post
I am getting really good at faking it now.
That's what she said...
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Old 08-21-2015, 12:31 PM   #32
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


I've also realized that the guys who are constantly trying to tell me how much they know or how good they are aren't usually as cool as they think they are. Whenever I've worked with a good, usually older carpenter they're never running their mouth always selling themselves.
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Old 08-21-2015, 01:47 PM   #33
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


Skills and an understanding of how things are suppose to be can be learned in a few short years. Of course there is always some new tips and discovery of better products ect.

Situations are what make you competent. The more situations you encounter the easier is is to make an educated decision on how to get the project or customer to where it is suppose to be. The more you see and LEARN from the more productive and more successful you will become
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Old 08-21-2015, 02:05 PM   #34
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


I can't wait to be competent. It's going to make my job so much easier.

For the last two years things have been clicking for me. That's after 6 years as an employee and 1 year on my own. I think I regressed when I started working for myself.

Last edited by Agility; 08-21-2015 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 08-21-2015, 02:56 PM   #35
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


Simply put, competency is the ability to do the job from start to finish without any inadequacies in the finished product.

Quality of work is a different issue which isn't the same as competency even though we tend to incorrectly equate the two attributes. So if someone can lay carpeting in a 900 square ft. basement and finish the job in 3 hours with only a few waste scraps, we would call them competent.

But if you consider the guy who takes an entire day to do the same job and he ends up with more waste scraps than he has finished carpeting on the floor, he lacks a certain amount of experience and knowledge even though he is indeed competent. If there are no visible seems, and the edges make it under the baseboard, the worker is competent. He may lack efficiency but he can get get the job done and the rest will come in time.
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Old 08-21-2015, 06:10 PM   #36
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Gibson View Post
Agreed. The first few jobs I took on my own I'm pretty sure the customer knew I was full of ****, I knew I was full of ****, but we were both willing to let it slide because I was a nice guy and knew I'd fix whatever I messed up.

I never really messed anything up beyond repair, and the price was nice enough that they'd call me back.



I'm liking the five years number. It took me 4 with somebody else, then 1 on my own before I started to get the hang of a few things. I can walk into a room that needs crown moulding installed and say with confidence how much time it's going to take and how much material I'm going to need, and give a HO a price right then and there. I did it the other day. If felt nice.



To the OP, best I can say is that you can kind of feel it when you're on top of the situation instead of the situation being on top of you.

Like everybody else said, there's no way you get this feeling with every discipline. Too much to learn in a thousand lifetimes.

I remember my first fake it till you make it gigs. Some guy called me up from a craigslist ad and somehow hired me on the spot. All hourly to just completely redo this terrible house he bought. He was just winging the whole damned thing. He actually talked me into cutting a dormer into his roof, which turned out great.

He turned out to be a crazy lunatic, in the end. But he did introduce to me to someone as "the future best contractor in Pittsburgh"

Not there yet, but I'm sure I'll at least be competent one day. I think I'm reasonably competent as a carpenter, but always still learning and progressing. Now it's the managing and the business aspect that I'm working to figure out more. I think that is what has the chance to sink me as a contractor.
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Old 08-21-2015, 06:16 PM   #37
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


Probably never be competent.
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Old 08-21-2015, 06:59 PM   #38
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


I honestly don't know how long it took me to establish a good "base" where I had enough general construction skills to start being proficient at the specialties. I know that it had happened by the time I was 19 but I started working very young and had several thousand hours of construction experience at that point. After that it seems to take about 1-3 years to get proficient in something new. At 21 I was a damn good scene carpenter, building sets and display work. After two years working in a cabinet shop, I was regularly getting compliments from the bench guys and the designers.

Remodeling is much more diverse, so it's been 6-7 years of that and I still find myself lacking in some areas that I haven't encountered before but I've become pretty good at a number of different projects.

For the past year and a half I've been dedicating most of my energy towards decks and I'm at the point where I'd say I'm PROFICIENT but have a long way to go before being EFFICIENT. I'm paraphrasing but I remember one of my early mentors saying "It takes twice as long to get from "okay" to "good" as it does to get from "zero" to "okay" but it takes 10 times longer to get from "good" to "great", and most people can't even then."
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:29 PM   #39
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


Some people in this business are extremely competent and know everything in the whole wide world. Like the guy I just met.
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:50 PM   #40
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Re: When Did You Become Competent?


After 40 years in the trades I guess I can identify with #2 the most.
Only because its hard to accept new products and procedures that
may not have withstood the test of time,yet are readily applied as
industry standards.

Seems like a full time job separating quality from hype.So I stick with what I know until I've seen long term results.

So................I'm adequate for the purpose for the time being.
But.............My competence may be dated.
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